Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With Content Beyond MA-15+

June 25, 2009 -

Australia's federal government said yesterday that it plans to block access to websites which host and sell games with content edgier than what is allowable under an MA-15+ rating. The unprecedented censorship policy will apply to Australians of all ages.

As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, a spokesman for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy (left) said that the filtering scheme willl apply to downloadable games, Flash games and websites which sell boxed copies of MA-15+ games via mail order.

Colin Jacobs of Electronic Frontiers Australia, an online users' lobbying group, criticized the plan:

This is confirmation that the scope of the mandatory censorship scheme will keep on creeping. Far from being the ultimate weapon against child abuse, it now will officially censor content deemed too controversial for a 15-year-old. In a free country like ours, do we really need the government to step in and save us from racy web games?

Mark Newton, described by the SMH as an ISP engineer, told the newspaper that the plan could affect online-only games like World of Warcraft and Second Life as well:

That [online games] exemption [on content ratings] is the only reason why multi-player games with user-generated environments are possible in this country; without it, it'd only take one game user anywhere in the world to produce objectionable content in the game environment to make the Australian Government ban the game for everyone.


Comments

Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With ...

They likely suddenly needed a permit to hold the protest, or were shunted to a "free speech zone"

Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With ...

Its probably better that it didn't happen, seeing as though the plan was to protest while cosplaying.

Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With ...

Actually they changed their minds about doing it in cosplay (due to issues of not being taken seriously.. I know I'd be more likely the run away than listen to a 40 year old man dressed as sailor moon), but I don't know how it went down.

Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With ...

Good luck blocking flash games.

------ Ago. Perceptum. Teneo.

Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With ...

Wait a minute, this country is surrounded by deadly waters, vicious crocodiles, venomous creatures, Kangaroos that out number the populace and this is what's worrying them? A 14 year old getting  a hold of GTA4?  We should give the government some real problems to worry about like a hundred rabbits roaming the outback.

Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With ...

Oh no, it's worse then that.  See, they're not worried about a 14 year old getting a hold of GTA IV.  That you could at least understand even if you disagree with it.  No, they're worried about anybody getting a hold of GTA IV.


Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With ...

Don't worry. When Michael Atkinson is retired or dead, whichever comes first, this will probably go with him.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With ...

I don´t like the idea to wait his death just for have his ideas death like him. And why is anybody opposing against him in this matter? I don´t think just videogames are being affected by these jackasses regulations "for the children".

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With ...

They don't necessarily have to wait for his death...

Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With ...

Honestly, I have no connection to the man at all and really don't care about him. I don't think saying that I hope he conks out soon is too far out. The day that he does die and the news hits GamePolitics, it will be a fucking party.


Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games With ...

Sh1t just got real again for australians. My deepest condolences for them... your country is being runned by a55h0les...

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games Rated ...

Who in the HELL thought up that lousy idea?!?!

Guess no one in Australia has heard of a proxy server....

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: Australia Moves to Block Online Access to Games Rated ...

Remember, these are the idiots who created filters to block porn (in schools/libraries and other places if I remember correct) and it took pretty much zero times for it to be bypassed by some kid.

 
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Should ‘sexism’ factor into a video game’s rating?:

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MechaTama31What was wrong with Remember Me? I liked that one... >.>11/20/2014 - 8:50pm
AvalongodI tend to see the violence and sexism issues as different. Historically we know that the violence issue is overblown. But sexism is real. Better representations of women in games WILL happen.11/20/2014 - 7:35pm
Andrew EisenAnd unless I completely missed it, there's nothing in there about "how Pokemon in general is sexist but you gotta look deep for it."11/20/2014 - 5:10pm
Andrew EisenSeriously, you're upset, irked and fearful over an opinion piece that suggests the Pokemon demo would be better with more options and a better-written female character? SERIOUSLY?!11/20/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://gamasutra.com/blogs/PugetAlain/20141118/230420/Nearly_Ripped_off_to_death_by_a_publisher__Get_better_by_yourself_and_wait_for_justice_Maybe.php Topware screws over an indie studio because they can.11/20/2014 - 5:01pm
Andrew EisenAre you SURE you provided the right link?11/20/2014 - 4:59pm
prh99And yeah that sucks, especially when bonuses are tied to it, but that is more a problem with crappy publisher policies and scoring in general than any discussion on what may or may no be sexism in games.11/20/2014 - 4:59pm
prh99But no one is on their legislative high horse or on the litigation war path, for that matter. The biggest effect is that a reviewer might give it a lower score and drag down their meta critic ranking.11/20/2014 - 4:56pm
Wonderkarpyup11/20/2014 - 4:51pm
Andrew EisenOh for crying out loud. Wonderkarp, I apologize for how rude this question is but seriously, did you actually read that article?11/20/2014 - 4:47pm
Wonderkarpits a stigma. people in power hear this crap and start getting on their legislative high horse. but I feel like we've already paid too much attention too a demo.11/20/2014 - 4:46pm
Andrew EisenHarm gaming how?11/20/2014 - 4:35pm
Wonderkarpcause it gets parroted around and is used by people to harm gaming like Jack Thompsons did with Violence. http://www.themarysue.com/pokemon-oras-sexism/ here's the article.11/20/2014 - 4:28pm
Andrew EisenNo idea why such an opinion would upset or irk you so I'd be interested in reading it. Got a link?11/20/2014 - 4:13pm
Wonderkarplook deep for it....reaching much. those kinds of people are what urk me.11/20/2014 - 4:07pm
WonderkarpI got upset the other day when a known feminist blog wrote a large article on how the demo to Pokemon Omega Ruby was Sexist cause you couldnt play as a girl. It was a Demo....who cares? but they went off on how Pokemon in general is sexist but you gotta11/20/2014 - 4:06pm
Andrew EisenHere's the panel that Sarkeesian quote from earlier comes from. Amazing what the proper context does, isn't it? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0qxtKz2vZw11/20/2014 - 3:32pm
NeenekoSomething to keep in mind, we tend to look at physics as 'hard', but math and physics are trivial compared to soc/psych (I have worked in both), but FEELS like it should be simplier.11/20/2014 - 3:17pm
NeenekoI think what tends to make discussing sexism in games difficult is scale, the issues tend to be systemic in nature, but bite sized examples are not... and the systemic part ties into a lot of dry academic stuff requiring domain knowledge not everyone has.11/20/2014 - 3:16pm
Wonderkarpand I jumped for joy when the Cogs went multigendered in GOW. but I also like male protagonists like Kratos or Nathan Drake or Link.11/20/2014 - 2:58pm
 

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